Thursday, May 25, 2023

Pakistani Murderer Walks Free

Andrew Hammel writes in Quillette:
Thus, as of this date, Adnan Syed remains a convicted murderer who lost his appeals, was neither pardoned nor paroled, and is not even technically free on bail. Nevertheless, he is at liberty to move freely, and to go to his job at Georgetown University every day. He is almost certainly the only person in America who finds himself in this unique and paradoxical situation. His might be the only such case in American history.

Adnan Syed landed in this unique situation because he is a world-famous celebrity, and he became a world-famous celebrity because of a humble podcast. Three hundred million people have downloaded Serial, a 2014 American podcast about his trial that purported to raise troubling questions about his conviction. The success of that series helped trigger a tsunami of true-crime media, from basement-rant Serial imitators to glossy Netflix productions. It was also followed by further re-investigations of Hae Min Lee’s murder—more podcasts and documentaries have bobbed along in Serial’s expansive wake. The result? A straightforward 1999 murder case has, according to the Washington Post, “arguably received more attention, review and support than any other criminal case, ever.”

I listened to several episodes. They made no serious attempt to give both sides of the story. They gave some arguments to doubt the conviction, but not really any good arguments that he was innocent. They tried to give the impression that he was being picked on for being a Pakistani Moslem, dating a Korean girl.

As the article shows, he did a vigorous defense, and a fair trial.

Meanwhile, here is a California man who has been subjected to a temporary restraining order for a year or more, because he called his wife fat, lazy, and trailer trash.

H.B. obtained a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) against her estranged husband, appellant F.K., pursuant to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA). The trial court issued the DVRO on the grounds that appellant "called the mother of his children 'fat,' 'lazy,' 'trailer trash.'" The trial court misinterpreted the purpose and scope of the DVPA, which "prevent[s] acts of domestic violence, abuse, and sexual abuse." Puerile name-calling by a spouse is lamentable but does not warrant a DVRO. We reverse….
He is still subject to the order.

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